Astral Projection Guide #1

teachings, from the Merkavah (Chariot) Riders and their journeys to the
starry Palaces (Hekelot) of the invisible world, to Traveling in Spirit Visions
with the early adepts of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the 19th
can early 20th centuries. While a wide variety of approaches has been
formulated to assist the disciples of these diverse schools, much of their
techniques require an extensive amount of preparatory teachings and/or
ritual assistance. For those who have little or no knowledge of traditional
10-12th century Merkavah doctrines, or no interest in learning the necessary
signs, symbols, and invocations for Golden Dawn style techniques and their
‘spin offs’, yet want a Hermetic approach to their inner world, their is a
solution. It is also simple, direct, and does not require an extensive amount
of visualization or creative imaging.
The following experiment was carried out over a three month period, from
December 1996 to February 1997. During that time, no additional ritual
methods were performed, either for personal development, or in a group, in
order to asses the value of the technique as it stood alone. The majority of
the experiments occurred at night, before going to sleep, and about half the
time, in the morning upon waking, while still in a borderline state.
It is designed for those who would like to have an ‘out of body experience’
but lack either the necessary visualization skills required of so many of the
present techniques, or who have had violent experiences leaving their body,
and would like a more gentle approach to the astral planes.
It can be carried out by either experienced ‘traveler’ or beginner with equal
ease, and possibly, similar results.
Theoretical Background
The theoretical background behind this experiment is strictly kabbalistic, and
is applicable to either the traditional Tree of Life (Golden Dawn), the revised
Tree of Life as applied to the Portae Lucis material[i], or the Palaces as
outlined in the Sepher Zohar. In short, any systematic outline of the interior
body-world of humanity can be applied, as long as it has concise, easy to
visualize symbols for the various planes of consciousness.
The working assumption is that we as conscious beings originate in the Ain
Soph Aur, or Limitless Mind of God. We incarnate through various stages of
increasing density and matter, into the present world, in order to gain the
experiences that will allow us to go from ‘potential beings’ into Self
Actualized, or Self Created Beings. In our journey of development we take
on characteristics and ‘bodies’ of various vibrations, and on our ‘return’ we shed these bodies in exchange for increasingly subtle bodies and worlds of
Light. These Worlds are categorized in the Gnostic, Kabbalistic, Hermetic,
and Alchemical texts under different names and numbers, but share the
same essential qualities and functions overall. That is, they go from the most
dense world of material Earth, to the most subtle of Infinity, or the point of
our origin, the Mind of the Creator.
Within our physical body we have various organs of psychic perception,
called psycho-spiritual centers in modern Western esoteric nomenclature,
and chakras in Sanskrit. These centers correspond to several levels of our
physiology, that is on one level, our nervous system and plexus, as well as
our endocrine system of hormone secreting glands. Other correspondences
exist as well, but for our purposes these are the ones used most commonly
and efficiently.
Astral projection is often suggested through the solar plexus, but for many
this can be an unnerving and unsettling experience. Other suggestions are
purely visual, such as rising out of your body like a mist, or as having a
second ‘body of light’ present next to your physical one. It is said that
advanced practitioners can project their consciousness at the time of their
death through the upper centers, thus ‘dying consciously’. The centers
suggested here are the top and front of the head, or the “Crown” and “Third
Eye” centers, associated with the pineal and pituitary glands. Some even use
the back of the head, the medulla oblongata, or brain stem.
In the Indian texts, each chakra is associated with a particular power
(siddha), which is awakened in the aspirant, and as such, allows the student
to then project their consciousness through the different psychic centers in
increasing complexity and subtlety, until finally, the Crown is reached.
In kabbalistic practices however, the centers are rarely used as such, but
instead intense visualization of the etherial Worlds is used, until they are
progressively realized, or rituals combined with more generalized energizing
of the psychic body are used, alone or in conjunction with these visualized
worlds. The modern variation of this often involves the use of Tarot cards,
and is called Pathworking, or the use of Hebrew letters. Eastern Orthodox
monks have used intense visualization on the solar plexus, as a small sun, as
a method of achieving exteriorization, and some schools use the heart as a
center of displacement, however, the previously mentioned methods are the
most commonly used to date.
Alchemists use tinctures, or medicines to assist in the projection of
consciousness. Although, these should not be confused with hallucinogenic,
or psycho-active drugs. The effects of alchemical medicines generally occur
when their user is relaxed, sleeping, or in meditation. They in effect, assist
the projection of consciousness, that is the expansion of awareness, rather
than induce or cause it directly. It is possible to take an alchemical medicine
and drive a car unimpeded.
In Eastern techniques, the number of psychic centers attributed to the body
vary in number depending on the school in question. In general, it is said
that we have at least seven major and five minor psychic centers. Location,
color attributes, mantras, or vowel sounds attributed to them however vary
According to Sri Aurobindo, the throat center is associated with the
externalization of mental forces, and the link between the higher and lower
mental spheres. Like in some color scales of kabbalah, grey is associated
with this center.[iii] In Serpent of Fire: A Modern View of Kundalini, Darrel
Irving points out that the Vissudha chakra is presided over by the dual
deities of Shakini and Shiva. Each is five faced, representing the five
Elements, and three eyes, showing physical and psychic perception, or is androgynous, half white and half gold. The center is associated with the
purification of intelligence, the psychic substratum or ether (akasha), and
hearing. The color given is smoky-purple. As with Sri Aurobindo’s color,
purple is also sometimes given as associated with the throat center in
modern kabbalistic works.[iv]
Along with the remaining upper two psychic centers, these three constitute
the only centers whereby direct psychic perception is possible.[v]
In the West, the Throat center is less well defined, although it shares in all
of the above named characteristics. In Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn, Pat
Zalewski states that the throat center is associated with the thyroid gland
and controls respiration. As with yoga, each of the preceding centers is
associated with an Elements, starting with Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. While
not stated, it might be presumed that the Throat center is then the first
center to be associated with Spirit, or Quintessence, as in yoga.
Here however, we run into a problem regarding the attributes associated
with this area. In alchemy, the throat is ruled by Mercury, the god of Air, as
well as magic, voice, and initiation. In the systems generally used (i.e.
Golden Dawn), no planetary attribute is given to the throat. Instead, it is the
sepherothic realm of Daath that presides over this region.
Daath is Hebrew for ‘knowledge’ and maybe that is the best attribute for
things associated with the mind, speech, and magic. However, for many
kabbalists, Daath is a region better left alone, and feared more than the
so-called Qlippoth, or Demonic realms. How did Daath come to be seen with
such awe? Mostly from the second-hand reports of book learned occultists
repeating what they read. Although, if we keep in mind that Daath is
Knowledge, then some interesting correlations can be drawn.
Isreal Regardie states:
“This central point between two symbolic pillars of the opposites, the place
of balanced power from which the working of the opposites may correctly be
viewed, is the implication of DAAS {Daath}, which is the name of this
shadowy Sephirah. Rightly it is shadowy, and the word is used advisedly for
in the majority of us who have not cultivated the difficult art of avoiding the
opposites, the development of this new principle has proceeded with the
utmost slowness. It is a new factor of adaptation or equilibrium, especially
between the two broad divisions of consciousness - the ego on one hand
with its desire for adjustment to modern life with its refined and non-natural
conditions, and on the other hand with the superficial level of the instinctual
life, concerned with primitive things, of self-assertion and the unbridled
gratification of its every whim and caprice.”[vi]
and further on:
“DAAS (sic), the shadowy Sephirah, which develops in the course of
evolution as we learn the domination of our mental and emotional
propensities, is situated at the nape of the neck. Its position is at a point on
the spine just below the occiput, about one or two inches above the larynx,
and its diameter may be imagined to be about four inches in extent. It is
conceived to be a symbolic link, self-induced, and self-devised, between the
higher Genius on the one hand, and on the other, the ego, the
consciousness self referred to that group of characteristics clustered around
TIPHARAS (sic).”[vii]
Regardie also refers to Daath as “The Link” between the Higher Self and the
ego, or waking brain.

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